Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Had L5-S1 microdisectomy less than 12 hours ago

Hey everyone,
I had my L5-S1 microdisectomy this morning. I am a 27 year old male in pretty good shape, a little bit overweight and I am 6'4". I had an extruded disc that was placing pressure on my right sciatic nerve. After they gave me a "knock out cocktail" I woke up a couple hours later. It didn't feel like an instant "lights on" after I went out. It was my first time receiving general anesthesia and it felt like a deep sleep nap. I woke up in a decent amount of pain. Maybe a 6/10. They gave me a couple different painkillers in addition to my morphine drip. I get to push the happy button every 10 minutes and it gives me 2mg of morphine. The hospital is keeping me for the night, that was the original plan. My wife told me that they discovered that my disc was calcified or was calcifying. I am not sure what this means for recovery or long term health. Can anyone explain? Overall the surgery went very well. My surgeon wants me to where a big brace with several strong plastic plates. A few hours after the surgery I asked my nurse if I could get up to do #1. She gave me a plastic bottle and told me to use it instead. I insisted that I wanted to get up and walk a bit. They said okay and helped me get in the brace. I got up with a tiny bit of struggle and stood there for a while. I felt heavy like my body weighed an extra 40 pounds. I did not feel any sciatic pain. All of the pain was at the incision site. The pain went away as I took small steps around the room. I should also say that I was never nauseated at any point today. I had a couple pretty if meals (pasta and chicken breast lunch and chicken fried steak and rice for dinner), lots of water, V8, orange juice at the hospital. No throat pain. I felt okay walking around. A couple hours ago before laying down now for bed I got up an walked around my room again today. No butt, thigh sciatic pain. Maybe a tiny tiny bit but it feels gone. I will be discharged tomorrow morning. I'll keep y'all updated in this thread. Thanks for the help and encouragement.



  • thesilvercordtthesilvercord Posts: 15
    edited 12/20/2012 - 7:17 PM
    Please excuse my typos. Typing from hospital bed on iPhone.
  • Glad your sciatic pain is gone. I get my last epidural shot on the 26th. So far they only do pain relief for a few days..

    We'll keep us posted on your recovery...
    L4/5 herniation13mm sequestered fragment L5 root compromise.
    L3/4 annular tear.
    L2/3 3mm bulge and annular tear.
    Tens mpo combo system
    Epidural L4 L5 28Nov12 / 12Dec12 / 26Dec12. All no relief :( SO FAR
    MicroD L4 L5 May 23 2013
  • Hi, Im so glad your surgery went well and really happy you had no nausea...I had enough for both of us..lol. I had a thoracic microdiscectomy in May and they did a CT scan before scheduling surgery to see if there was any calcification. Since there was I was sent to Duke which is 4 hrs. away from where I live and had surgery with a neurosurgeon who specializes in thoracic surgeries since they are rare. He explained to me that the calcification makes it much harder and dangerous to get to the disc and remove since thoracic discs are so close to spinal cord and my herniation was causing severe impingement of cord. So calcification just made your surgery a little harder but it didn't change my recovery. I still just stayed over night. I hope you continue to do well and please keep in touch and let us know how you are.

  • thesilvercordtthesilvercord Posts: 15
    edited 12/20/2012 - 7:57 PM
    Thanks everyone.

    I was fortunate that the surgeon I wanted to use was on my insurance. He was rated a top 15 neurosurgeon in the US by Newsweek pretty recently. He uses the latest procedures (as well as older ones) and is very active I the research field. So hearing that it makes the surgery more difficult, I'm glad he was the one doing the job.

  • It's been about 13 hours since surgery. Pain is increasing. Nurse said its due to anesthesia wearing off. Just game me some Methocarbamol. I have been using the morphine pump as well. 2mg via IV every 10 minutes.
  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 12/20/2012 - 11:07 PM
    Congratulations on an excellent recovery start. Day 3 will be a 'doozy', as the general anaesthetic will have completely worn off.

    Take care.
  • Thanks DaveFusion, I'll look out for that.

    Overnight I started feeling low grade sciatic pain in my right glute. I hope it is just from the post surgery swelling and will disappear soon. I have had the sciatic pain for 3 years so maybe it will take longer for it to disappear. It's hard to be optimistic when the sciatic pain returns but I will have to trust that this one will work its self out in time.
  • That your recovery is starting out well, that you have walked around and no nausea. After having sciatica for so long and then the surgeon poking and proding can make the nerve flare up after surgery. It can take some time for it to settle down, but then it should settle and you will be on your way to a great recovery.
    Stay ahead of the pain with the meds, get alot of rest, with short, frequent walks as the days, weeks go on.

    Wishing you all the best.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • First time talking to you, but congrats on being on the other side. DaveFusion is right, things get worse before they get better so don't get discouraged. Also if you have some nerve damage, it'll take time to heal, but it will now that it's been released. Just don't play superman when you feel better - it's so easy to overdo stuff when you start feeling better.

    I'm glad it went well and know that it'll get better for you. A 2mg morphine drip is pretty low, but I guess it's good for a micro. I had a 5mg every 10 min with a steady 2mg constant, but only had it for one day. I wasn't pressing the button enough. I thought it was every 30 minutes, not 10, so didn't make full use of it. LOL Bummer for me there.

    Take care and keep us posted on how you're doing.
  • NHbackNNHback Posts: 35
    edited 12/21/2012 - 12:37 PM
    Congrats getting through the surgery.

    Please do not be too alarmed with low-grade sciatic pain returning after a few days. I woke up and felt no sciatic pain at all for the first couple of days and then it came back at a low level.

    As others have said, the nerve has been damaged from years of being "pinched" and now there is post-op swelling/inflammation at the site as well.

    take care of yourself, follow the doctor's orders, and try hard not to let the minor aches and pains returning alarm you

    I am at 11+ weeks post op and still have minor aches and pinching in my left buttocks and my Dr and PT both have been adamant that this is not a step backward, just a normal consequence of having an injury that involves a damaged nerve...
  • Thanks for the advice and support. It is very appreciated.

    I stayed up very late last night in my hospital bed cause I slept in and out during the day. My wife and her parents got me one of those Kindle Fire HD's for my M.S. graduation last Saturday, which is proving to be a great tool passing time with recovery. Stayed up late reading. I was in a good amount of sciatic pain last night so i was pushing the morphine drip every 10 minutes for about an hour or so. I fell asleep around 3am. I woke up around 6am. I think it was for a breathing and temperature check. I had a low grade fever yesterday, but it was normal today. Ordered breakfast, my wife helped feed me. I used the automatic bed to raise up a bit so I was sitting up. My morphine drip ran out around 11am. I was kinda nervous cause the pain was still there. They gave me a Norco and said they were going to ween me off the morphine to get ready for discharge. The PT guy came in and wanted me to get up and walk the around the unit. Sitting up was very painful. He helped me get the big brace on. I stood up and felt heavy. Within a few minutes I was feeling better. I starting shuffling around the room after he helped me with my gown. As I walked outside, I felt much better. My wide said I was walking without my minor sciatic limp. It felt pretty good and the PT guy said I was doing great. I went back to my room and they have me a Percocet from me telling them of the pain prior to the walk. By the time I got back to the room, the pain had diminished a bunch but I still ate the Percocet happily. met with some kind of recovery nurse who told me how to do things when I get home. All the common sense - no BLT kinda stuff but she was very detailed oriented asking me about our exact shower/toilet/bed setup, etc. The nurse practitioner came in and was really pleased with my progress. She said I was doing great. She worked for the hospital (not the surgeon) and did a great job answering all my questions. Right after she left I ate lunch and was feeling pretty good. The sciatic pain was going away again. After lunch a social worker type person came in and asked if I was satisfied with my living arrangement. Thanks to some of the advice from this forum, I was able to pre-plan and get things setup ahead of time, so I was confident our living situation was fine. After she left the PT guy came in again and wanted me to go on another walk. This time I was able to get out of the bed with ease. Walking was very easy. It felt great. I was surprised by the very low level of pain. A nurse walked by and said I was doing great. The nurse practitioner saw me and said that I was practically gliding and doing great. We picked up the pace a bit and walked faster and further away. I went back to the room and felt like standing but the PT guy wanted me to show him I could lay down okay in the log roll way. He said I can stand back up after. I did the log roll lay down well. He asked me if I wanted to stand back up and I said "nah I'm good", changing my mind quickly, after realizing how nice it was to lay down again. At some point they game me a breathing capacity test device and I did really well with it. I believe it is to reduce the risk of pneumonia. A nurse came back in a little while later and said to get ready for discharge. I got up and felt great. I walked around unassisted, brushed my teeth and washed my face/neck with a small towel. I started pulling all the heart monitor stickies from my chest and got ready to leave. I felt really good. I showed my wife that before the surgery I was only able to "kick" my right leg up a foot of the ground, I was so excited that I was able to lift it several feet off the ground now with minimal pain. When it was time to leave, they brought up a wheel chair. I told them I could walk out, no problem. I could tell they really wanted me to use the wheel chair so I submitted. After getting to the car, I was able to get in my wife's small SUV by myself. I put the seat back and even though I brought pillows, I didn't use any. It felt fine without it, I was still wearing the brace. My wife stopped at Walgreens on the way home and was thinking I was going to wait in the car. I got out quickly and followed her in. She could tell my walking was much improved. It was crazy at Walgreens so we had to wait about 20 minutes. I walked around the store without any problems and ended up leaving with more candy than I planned on buying. After we left and got home, I felt really good. I did not feel like I had just had surgery and I felt a lot better than I did before going into surgery. I sat down at the table with my wife and we ate an early dinner. After that I sat down in a supportive chair and watched tv for a while. I was comfortable but I remembered the nurses saying to either stand or lay down, so I gathered the iPhone and Kindle, and here I am laying down in bed typing this. I feel great. I just remembered what the last thing my surgeon told me before going under the knife. He said "you will feel good at some point after the surgery and you will think you feel like you can get back to normal quickly and try to do things, because I'm guy and know you're going to think you can do all those things. Just take it easy, be cautious and go slow with it". It's true. My natural feelings are that I can tackle it all right now, but I am definitely going to follow all the instructions carefully. I do not want to have to ever go back under the knife.
Sign In or Register to comment.